Pfleger and Jackson vs. the NRA
One would think that Catholic priests like Chicago’s Rev. Michael Pfleger, an early supporter of Barack Obama and his push for gun control, would not be bearing false witness against one of his neighbors. Yet there he was standing in front of Chuck’s Gun Shop in suburban Riverdale, Illinois, to blame it, and other legal businesses like it, along with the National Rifle Association, for the murder spree in the gun-controlled progressive worker’s paradise of Chicago.
Standing with the camera-shy Rev. Jesse Jackson and the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence president Dan Gross in front of the gun shop, Father Pfleger proclaimed that the NRA had “blood on its hands” for the children killed in Chicago gang violence and that the NRA would “pay for the murder of our children.”
The operative phrase here is “gang violence,” a phrase supplanted in the liberal lexicon by “gun violence” even though guns are also used on a daily base by law-abiding citizens to save lives and to thwart crime by criminals, two other words liberals eschew. Ignoring the reality on the ground, Father Pfleger thundered:
I’m just tired, tired of the NRA. Tired of them prostituting themselves and buying politicians in this country. I’m tired of gun manufacturers and John Riggio from Chuck’s making money off the blood running down our streets, and our children laying in cemeteries. While they live in gated communities where there are no gun shops like Chuck’s.
I’m tired of funerals of babies, while [the] NRA, manufacturers, and Chuck’s, run to the bank making profits from death.
We should all be tired of such liberal lies, especially when they come out of the mouths of Catholic priests like Rev. Pfleger. the fact is that of the more than 400 homicides in Chicago in 2014 the number of murders committed by NRA members was a whopping zero.
In Chicago, as Investor’s Business Daily has noted, the problem in Chicago has historically not been gun violence, but gang violence:
The fact is that up to 80% of Chicago's murders and shootings are gang-related, according to police.
By one estimate, the city has 68,000 gang members, four times the number of cops. A police audit last spring identified 59 gangs and 625 factions -- mostly on the south and west sides -- none of which is going to submit to things like universal background checks.
Chicago, arguably the most gun-controlled city in the U.S. while becoming known as the murder capital of America, was at the root of a landmark gun rights and Second Amendment case involving Otis McDonald, a 76-year-old African-American Army veteran who lived in a high-crime area of Chicago, and had the silly idea that the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution he carried a firearm into battle to defend gave him the same right to carry a gun at home to protect him and his family against criminals.:
One of the plaintiffs in the Chicago case is Otis McDonald, a Chicago resident since 1952 and a retired maintenance engineer who helped integrate his union. He is also a community activist who has been threatened for his efforts to rid his neighborhood of drug dealers and other criminals. McDonald owns a handgun, but he cannot keep it inside the city because of the handgun ban.
"This lawsuit, I hope, will allow me to bring my handgun into the city legally," he said. "I only want a handgun in my house for my protection." One would think the U.S. Constitution, through the doctrine of incorporation, gives him the right to do just that.
The U.S. Supreme Court in a landmark decision agreed with him and disagreed with Father Pfleger, who argues that places like Chuck’s Gun Shop endangered Chicago residents and thwarted the city’s gun ban by allowing guns to be obtained outside the city and brought into it to cause havoc. More likely Chicago’s high crime and murder rates are due to Chicago being a gun-free zone where criminals and gang-bangers can ply their trade with impunity.
In a June 2008 column, Chicago Tribune columnist John Kass noted that as a result of Chicago’s gun ban there were only two types of people in Chicago that could carry guns – hypocritical politicians and criminals:
Criminals get guns the old fashioned way, by stealing them or buying them illegally. Politicians write the anti-gun laws, and wonder of wonders, they often exempt themselves and call themselves peace officers.
In Chicago, our politicians often go around surrounded by armed bodyguards on the city payroll. Or they walk our streets strapped. Or they know a guy who knows a guy in some suburb, and they become deputized peace officers so they can carry.
Politicians are not violent by disposition. They live in some of the safest neighborhoods, with wrought iron fences, automatic garage doors, cameras on light poles and armed police bodyguards.
Meanwhile, the taxpayers, who live without bodyguards, are told that if they want to protect themselves with a handgun just like the politicians, they themselves will be criminalized.
Sorry, Father Pfleger, but the NRA didn’t write the Second Amendment. Nor did it create gun-free zones like the city of Chicago where crime and gangs flourish. If there is blood on anyone’s hands, it is on the hands of liberals who believe that disarming potential victims will stop armed predators in their tracks. As the Constitution says, the right of citizens to defend their homes and their families should and shall not be infringed.
Daniel John Sobieski is a freelance writer whose pieces have appeared in Investor’s Business Daily, Human Events, Reason Magazine and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.